memoir Left Field was published in 2016 and
is still available in shops and as an e-book and an Audible book.
intervening years have been ones of personal and political
hope and of personal and political despair. In other
words, nothing out of the ordinary.
surprisingly for someone in his seventh decade, these have
been years when close friends have left this planet while I remain
clinging to its edges, aware of Leonard Cohen’s words to Marianne
Ihlen that, “I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your
hand, I think you can reach mine.”
subdural haematoma operation I wrote about in Left Field was
followed two years later by a heart valve operation, then a stroke caused by infection of my new valve. I used my hospital
stays to campaign for an NHS that had now saved my life more than once.
am proud that the unfairly much-vilified Jeremy Corbyn visited me when I was
in St Barts Hospital. The worst insult he has had to endure has been ‘anti-semitism’ accusations about a man who has been at the
forefront of anti-racism struggles for decades.
To that end, I
helped organise a letter signed by Ken Loach, Brian Eno,
Grime4Corbyn, Nigel Kennedy, Alexei Sayle and thousands of others in
support of Corbyn, whom I consider to be our El Pepe.
years have been ones when my eldest son lost and won back his
disablity benefits. Many haven’t and many have lost their lives in the process.
have also been years of loss for me, not of the dead, but of a living son who has ghosted me. I
wrote about this under a pseudonym for Stand Alone, a wonderful charity set up by a
friend of mine for people estranged from their families.
past as co-founder of the charity War Child still haunts me and hope
it haunts those I write critically about here. I recently learned
that the present War Child CEO receives an annual salary of £108,000.
I will end with some music. I
will be back in Bosnia Herzegovina soon to stay with my Bosnian
family. But, before that, I will be at the Dubioza Kolektiv gig in
London. Here is the schedule for their upcoming UK tour and a track
of theirs about borders that kill. Join me there.